A new strain of COVID-19 has prompted several countries to impose travel bans. (Courtesy SFO)

A new strain of COVID-19 has prompted several countries to impose travel bans. (Courtesy SFO)

New UK COVID-19 strain cause for concern

Experts say variety is ‘more sticky,’ highly contagious

California’s top officials are “watching closely” for signs of the new, more contagious United Kingdom COVID-19 strain that has prompted some countries to enact travel bans.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that California has not seen any signs of the new strain, but is watching it closely. He emphasized there was a need for concern but not alarm.

“No evidence of this strain yet into the state of California,” Newsom said. “We are not seeing that here.”

Newsom said he has had discussions including with airlines about enacting new required testing and quarantine protocols for any U.K. travelers, but had nothing to announce yet. He said the federal government should take action and noted how Canada enacted a travel ban.

Canada suspended flights from the UK for at least 72 hours on Sunday.

Newsom’s top health official Mark Ghaly said the new strain is “a little bit more sticky than the Covid virus that we’ve been seeing to date.”

“For Covid to enter a human cell it needs to bind to a receptor, a front door on a human cell, and the new mutated Covid virus seems to bind a little tighter, a little more easily and enter the cell of the human body easier,” Ghaly said, adding “that is why we are worried.”

He said there is no indication that the mutated strain is deadlier but only more contagious.

“We are watching closely for this specific mutation,” Ghaly said. “The last thing we want to do is let a new strain of Covid come and spread more rapidly or easily across the state.”


Bay Area NewsCoronavirussan francisco news

Just Posted

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A Giants fans hangs his head in disbelief after the Dodgers won the NLDS in a controversial finish to a tight Game 5. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Giants dream season ends at the hands of the Dodgers, 2-1

A masterful game comes down to the bottom of the ninth, and San Francisco came up short

<strong>Workers with Urban Alchemy and the Downtown Streets Team clean at Seventh and Market streets on Oct. 12. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins> </strong>
Why is it so hard to keep San Francisco’s streets clean?

Some blame bureaucracy, others say it’s the residents’ fault

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — seen in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday — touted Congressional Democrats’ infrastructure bill in San Francisco on Thursday. (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times)
Pelosi touts infrastructure bill as it nears finish line

Climate change, social safety net among major priorities of Democrats’ 10-year funding measure

Most Read